Benthic foraminifers and siliceous sponge spicules assemblages in the Quaternary rhodolith rich sediments from Pontine Archipelago shelf

Virgilio Frezza, Michela Ingrassia, Eleonora Martorelli, Francesco Latino Chiocci, Ruggero Matteucci, Letizia Di Bella


The bottom samples of two cores (CS1 and Caro1) collected at 60 and 122 m water depth in the marine area near Ponza Island (Pontine Archipelago, Tyrrhenian Sea) are investigated. In particular, benthic foraminiferal and bioclastic content is considered.

The calcareous red algae (pralines, boxworks and unattached branches) are abundant in both samples and, particularly, in the CS1_bottom as well as the benthic foraminifers. The siliceous sponge spicules also are very diversified and abundant in the CS1_bottom samples, while in the Caro1_bottom they are rare and fragmented. Benthic foraminiferal assemblage of two samples is dominated by Asterigerinata mamilla and Lobatula lobatula, typical epiphytic species but also able to live on circalittoral detrital seafloors.

Based on these data it is possible to assume that the bottom of the cores was deposited in the upper circalittoral zone and anyway within the present-day depth limit distribution of calcareous red algae in the Pontine Archipelago (lower than 100 m water depth).


benthic foraminifers; sponge spicules; rhodolith facies; paleoenvironmental reconstruction; Late Quaternary; Pontine Archipelago; Tyrrhenian Sea

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ISSN Online: 2280-6148
ISSN Print: 2037-2272